Several professional scuba diving companies are based on Rarotonga and Aitutaki, and there are many snorkeling possibilities. Both islands offer lagoon tours by boat, with those at Aitutaki by far the better.
Operators based on Rarotonga's Muri Beach rent water-sports equipment, including windsurfers, sailboats, and kayaks, with training in their use available. The surfing possibilities are very limited in the Cook Islands—windsurfing's the thing to do. Horseback riding and deep-sea fishing are other popular activities.
Most of the hiking possibilities are on mountainous Rarotonga, but uplifted islands such as Atiu, Mauke, and Mangaia are also fascinating to wander around. The nine-hole golf courses on Aitutaki and Rarotonga aren't too challenging, but greens fees are low and the atmospheres amicable. Tournaments are held at both in September.
The spectator sports are cricket December- February, with matches every Saturday afternoon from 1300, and rugby May-July. Rugby is the main male team sport played in the Cooks; soccer is a more recent introduction (played year-round).
On Rarotonga, ask about rugby matches at Tereora National Stadium, on the inland side of the airport, and in the sports ground opposite the National Cultural Center in Avarua. Netball is the most popular women's sport, especially in March and April.